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MPs and artists back festival highlighting women’s “tortuous” asylum process

David Lammy, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin and more will feature in North London’s Spotlight on Asylum festival kicking off on September 7

A London festival that aims to highlight the often-overlooked impact of asylum on women in the UK will feature star-studded backing over its two-month run.

North London charity PramDepot’s Spotlight on Asylum exhibition kicks off on September 7 with a whole host of comedy, film, spoken word, performance and music events examining the “tortuous” asylum process faced by women across the UK every day.

More than 120 Asylum Angels pieces from esteemed artists Antony Gormley and Tracey Emin as well as trade union leader Len McCluskey and more will be up for auction from September 7 and on display at Karamel N22 in North London.

It will also play host to the Asylum InQuizition on October 26 – a quiz and meal compered by MPs David Lammy, Kate Osamar and Catherine West with questions cooked up by Haringey Migrant Support Group.

Also on offer is a comedy night, spoken word performance by Vivien Isebor and a film festival as well as a performance by the All African Women’s Alliance. This is couple with a screening of news investigations uncovering the conditions that women were forced to live in while detained under the immigration system.

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Karen Whiteread, the founding director of organisers Pram Depot – a charity which provides baby clothes and equipment for more than 400 vulnerable mothers every year – insists that the series of events will go a long way to raise awareness of the issue.

According to the Refugee Council, at the end of 2017 a total of 2,545 persons were detained which accounted for 270 women.

“We hope that Spotlight on Asylum will lead to a greater understanding of the appalling conditions and tortuous process the women are subjected to in their struggle to obtain ‘leave to remain,’’ said Karen Whiteread, founding director of PramDepot.

“Spotlight on Asylum festival will help us to vital raise funds to keep supporting society’s most vulnerable and disenfranchised groups, while starting conversations and engaging our supporters in the work we do.”

All events will take place at the Karamel N22 (4 Coburg Road London, N22 6UJ) where a range of vegan cuisine will be on offer. Tickets are on sale via spotlightonasylum.com. Ticket prices start at £10 (general admission) and go up to £20 (admission and buffet)

Images: PramDepot/Karen Louis Whiteread

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